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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  December 7, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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time. time for the right to settle into the country's conscience. it took time for abolition of slavery and honest reflection out of which comes a freer, more liberal america. that's the way it's been and here i think the way it will be. so keep the faith. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans, welcome to "the ed show" from new york. john boehner's back is against the wall and president obama is holding all the cards. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. the clock is ticking. christmas is coming. the goose is getting fat. why are you not bringing this to the floor? >> an urgent message from nancy pelosi. but it's casual friday for speaker boehner. >> this isn't a progress report bauds there's no progress to report.
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>> today's news, speaker boehner and president obama will be the only two at the table to make a deal. i'll ask emanuel cleaver if boehner can get it done. 33 months of private sector job growth. now is the time to start spending on jobs. david cay johnston is here. the filibuster is more than an embarrassing blunder. bernie sanders explains why. the right to work in michigan has ignited a fire storm with workers. we'll have the latest on rick snider's race to the bottom. and breaking news from the supreme court. there will be a decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. law professor jonathan terly has all the details. >> thanks for watching. john boehner isn't having a lot of fun this holiday season.
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president obama continues his pressure campaign to pass the tax cuts. the president is also taking time to be fesive. john boehner doesn't sound so merry. >> no progress report because there's no progress to report. when it comes to the fis e call cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week. >> the phone call was pleasant, but was just more of the same. the conversations that the staff had yesterday, just more of the same. it's time for the president if he's serious to come back to us with a counteroffer. >> even though the president apparently designed the negotiating sessions at boehner's request. according to "the new york times," boehner insisted the talks include only himself and the president of the united states. boehner wanted senate democrats and nancy pelosi out of the
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discussions. democratic senator dick durbin told the times this is now the speaker and the president working this through. democratic leaders say they are satisfied with the briefings that they continue to receive. nancy pelosi seems perfectly happy putting pressure on the republicans. >> why are we not here to pass the middle income tax cut? why are we not here to even debate the middle income tax cut? could it be because the republicans have holding the middle income tax cuts as they have all along hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy. >> the effort continued today. joe biden had lunch with middle class americans who will see their taxes go up if republicans refuse to extend 19% of the tax cuts before the end of the year. >> folks, this is not hard. this ain't rocket science. it would take 15 minutes from the time the decision is made by
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the speaker of the house to pass and make permanent the middle class tax cut. the president would probably have me spin up to the hill to bring the bill down for him to sign. it can be done like that. it is not complicated. >> vice president joe biden did not waiver on the white house's position. it's all about the top tax rates. >> every serious economist i have spoken to, left, right, and center, knows you have to do something about revenue and rates. you can't get there from here without affecting people at this table. or fooling around with the mortgage deductions. you can't get there without the rates being affected. >> the white house is not backing down on rates. the president sent his legislative affairs director to meet with the republicans on the hill. he told him the white house is not moving on rates. a source close to the
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negotiations said once republicans move on rates they can get a deal very quickly. that sounds like the president is ready to move. the only person who has shown any movement on taxes is john boehner. the speaker angered conservative when is he said that the republican offer of new revenue would come from the wealthiest americans. conservatives don't even want boehner to say the word "revenue." justin am ish that was booted. >> conservative pressure on boehner was mounting. the red state is drumming up a campaign to depose boehner. they even created a sample letter for people to send to their congressional members. it urges lawmakers to get rid of the speaker. there are no good outcomes for this man named john boehner in
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these negotiations at this hour. if he holds out against a deal, he will be blamed for tax going up on all americans. if he strikes a deal with the president on tax rates, he could lose his job. the last time john boehner had a one-on-one negotiation with president obama the rank and file republicans rejected boehner's deal. it's hard to see how boehner will get a different outcome this time around. eric cantor looking right over his shoulder. you could make the argument that cantor is the big player who is not in the room. because if boehner does a deal with the president and goes back and tries to get the republicans to vote for it in the house and cantor says no, where are we? the president, calm, cool and collected and remembering what this election is all about. get your cell phones out. tonight's question. will republicans punish e speaker boehner for trying to work with the president? text a for yes, b to no to
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622639. we'll bring the results later on in the show. joining me tonight is congressman emanuel cleaver from missouri. great to have you with us. >> good to be with you. >> i'd like to talk about the congressional black caucus if i could. they have been very, very strong about do not touch the entitlements, we're not going to move on this. so you have the president not moving on rates. you have your caucus moving on entitlements. although you said the democratic leadership -- you said you could support means testing for medicare. what does that mean and how far are you willing to go. >> first of all, social security is off the table. there are not only 42 members in the congressional black caucus who would not vote for a deal that included social security, but the majority of our democratic caucus. social security has not distributed to the deficit. it's just irresponsible to even put social security in a discussion as we are trying to
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get a deal. medicare can, i think, be massaged in terms of means testing. with the upper income individuals paying more or sometimes all of their medical expenses, it makes no sense for the government to pay medicare costs for someone earning $700,000 a year. so i think we can do some means testing. but by no means am i saying it should be low enough so our elderly and poorist americans are going to pay for the deficit. but we want a deal. and keep in mind, i think this is very important. if the bush tax cuts are expired, as they will be, just as sure as today is friday, they are gone, that generates $950 billion toward the deficit over
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a ten-year period. we'd set aside $1.2 trillion. we're almost there. and if you do means testing on medicare, we make it. >> well, the republicans would never go along with that kind of means testing because that would hit the wealthier americans. that's who they are going to protect. how would that work out? >> what i would hope is if republicans fight a deal like that because they want to protect the wealthiest, i think the american public is going to see through that and they are going to become vocal. the mail we're getting from all over the country suggests that the american public says that the upper end tax rates must go up and that's going to happen. it's going to happen. everybody needs to just get ready for it. >> boehner says he won't go down that road. we're still at the stalemate. i feel like i'm doing monday night's newscast on a friday night. there's been no movement.
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>> there hasn't been a lot of movement. and in some ways i feel sorry for the speaker. he's in a really bad situation. >> is he really? is he really looking over his shoulder? is he in a no-win situation? >> it's very, very difficult, i think. and if he strikes a deal with the president, i think he's going to need democratic support to get legislation through. i don't think that they are going to have enough republicans to pull him through. and so they are going to need us. we are not going to go there if they are including entitlements. >> are you okay with leadership being shut out of these talks and it's just down to a one-on-one with boehner and the president? >> i'm okay with it. the president has been clear. we're all proud of the fact that he's standing tough. i am a little concerned, though, just because i think we're going to be needed for the vote. and it's easier to get us if
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nancy pelosi has been involved and she knows, i think, even more intimately than the president how we feel, particularly about the so-called entitlements. >> that's what's interesting here. there's a lot of controversy in washington about how the white house, the president himself, is somewhat disconnected from people on the hill. and it would seem to me that nancy pelosi knows her caucus as good as anybody in american history. she's very strong and very on point about where her caucus is and can bring her caucus with her when the time comes. >> i can assure you she does. >> let's get back to rates for a moment. vice president biden suggested there's wiggle room over rates. here it is. >> americtheoretically we can negotiate how far up, but we think the top rate should go to
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39.6%. >> but that's not in concrete. what rate would be acceptable to you and house democrats? >> that sounds pretty good to e me. however, i think if we fall to the clinton era tax rates, i'm okay with that. i think that e we ought to have some wiggle room on the tax rates because i think the country wants us to compromise. so there's compromise space there, but make no mistake, we're not going to compromise away the upper end tax rates. that's on the table. it will stay on the table. that's what the american people are asking for. >> congressman, great to have you with us tonight on "the ed show." appreciate your time. remember to answer tonight's question. share your thoughts on twitter and on facebook. we always encourage you and want
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to know what you think. coming up, mitch mcconnell filibusters his own bill in the senate. bernie sanders joins us to talk about what that means for the future. and fiscal cliff talks. stay with us. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. low-cost investment options-- tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like our exchange traded funds, or etfs tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 which now have the lowest tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 operating expenses tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in their respective tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lipper categories. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lower than spdr tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and even lower than vanguard. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 that means with schwab, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 your portfolio has tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 a better chance to grow. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and you can trade all our etfs online, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 commission-free, from your schwab account. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so let's talk about saving money, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab etfs. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 schwab etfs now have the lowest operating expenses tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in their respective lipper categories. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 call 1-800-4schwab tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 or visit tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 to open an account today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 funding is easy tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab mobile deposit. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 investors should consider tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 carefully information tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 contained in the prospectus, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 including investment objectives, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 risks, charges, and expenses. you can obtain tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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had-year low, but republican obstruction is keeping the country from creates more jobs. we'll bring you the latest numbers and i'll ask david cay johnston why now is the time to focus on job creation. and the supreme court will hear two cases on same-sex marriage. we'll get the details from jonathan turly later on in this hour. share your thoughts on facebook and twitter. we're coming right back. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. since then, there's been one wedding,
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welcome back to "the ed show." we have seen a lot of obstructionism from the republicans. trying to stop progress has z how they do business. latest move from senate minority leader mitch mcconnell just might take the cake. he threatened to filibuster his own bill. mcconnell proposed legislation to give the president the authority to raise the debt ceiling. under the plan, congress would need a two-thirds majority to stop him. it's a proposal that president obama likes. so why would mitch mcconnell propose such a bill? to embarrass the democrats. he wanted to prove that the democrats didn't have the votes for the legislation. harry reid called his bluff and objected to putting the bill up for a vote, but after discussing it with his democratic members he got the support he needed and had a change of heart.
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claire mccaskill was priding when mcconnell objected to voting on the bill. >> is there an objection to the original request? >> objection is heard. i got whiplash. >> very strange. >> dick durbin reacted to mcconnell's move moments later. >> so this may be a moment in senate history when a senator made a proposal and when given an opportunity for a vote, filibustered his own proposal. i think we have now reached a new spot in the history of the senate we have never seen before. >> let's turn to bernie sanders. i'm laughing at it too, senator. this just goes to show either winging it big time. they don't have a plan other than to get in the way. what's your response to what unfolded on the floor and what we can look forward to in the future? >> i think dick durbin was right.
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in a time of dysfunctionality, this probably takes the cake when you filibuster your own probably. but the bottom line, this country, as you well know, ed, faces enormous problems. we have people trying to find work. we're trying to deal with global warming and the tremendous problems that that's it going to bring to our planet. we have this absurd citizens united situation and billions of dollars coming into the campaign from wealthy people. a whole lot of issues that have to be dealt with. time after time after time in an unprecedented way. republicans are saying the majority is not going to rule. you're going to need 60 votes. we're going to filibuster. that just eats up the clock. it makes it very difficult for us to do the work that the american people have sent us to washington to do. >> will these tactics continue? these rule changes that the
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democrats are talking about and making the move on, will it change the climate? >> i certainly hope we will succeed with very serious filibuster reform. if we don't, we're going to continue to be tied up in knots. we want to create a situation where the minority has the right to explain to the american people why they feel the way they feel. on the other hand, the majority in this country has the right to rule. has the right to make decisions. obama won the election. we won seats in the house. the american people want action and it is undemocratic. it is un-american when a small minority can deny the majority from going forward. >> and senator, the fiscal
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situation they are dealing with in washington, it doesn't look like we have made a lot of progress. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, it shouldn't just be the speaker and the president. it should be the voice of the american people. it should be the senate and should be the house. on these issues, ed, the election mattered. and poll after poll tells us the same thing. not a lot of debate but that's what the american people want. >> that's not getting through to speaker boehner. >> and that's why the president and the democrats have to stand tall. the democrats must not snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. we have the american people on our side. we won the election. poll after poll tells us. the american people understand that the wealthiest people are doing phenomenally well.
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their tax rates are low. the middle class is disappearing and they are in a lot of trouble. the wealthy and large corporations must be asked to play a significant role in deficit reduction. we must not not social security. that's clearly what the american people believe. and the president, democrats have got to hold firm and when they do, it will finally be the republicans that come to the table rather than just the democrats coming in as has been the case in the past. bernie sanders, appreciate your time. coming up, the fight over the fiscal cliff is putting american jobs at risk. one of these congressional members is lying about the problem. we'll use the newest job numbers to get to the truth next. and republicans in michigan are ramming through antiunion legislation and hurting middle class americans in the process. the people of michigan are
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outraged. we're talking to lansing, michigan's mayor. we're right back. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas...
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welcome back to "the ed show." republicans are dragging their feet to get a tax cut deal with the american people. those republican delays are putting our economic recovery, i think, in some serious neighborhood, dangerous, very
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dangerous. the good news is though, the latest employment numbers came out this morning. the economy added 146,000 jobs in the month of november. the unemployment rate hit a four-year low. it inched down to 7.7%. here's the bad news. america lost another 7,000 manufacturing jobs last month. overall the job numbers are better than analysts predicted, but republicans refuse to compromise on policies which will bring back even more jobs next year. they are risking our nation's economic recovery. here's how speaker john boehner's today. >> increasing tax rates will hit many small businesses that produce 60 to 70% of the the new jobs in our country. that's the whole issue here. >> once again. it's all theory from boehner. no guarantee on that. democratic leader nancy pelosi says it goes beyond the fiscal cliff debate. >> our economy is moving
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forward, but it could be growing at a faster rate. the republican leadership had taken up and passed some of president obama's job initiatives including the american jobs act and had passed the middle income tax cut. >> let's cut to the chase. one of those congressional members is lying. either the republicans are right on cutting taxes will add jobs or the president's stimulus policies are fueling the economic recovery in this country. joining me tonight to sort out the facts, david cay johnston, offer of "the fine print." let's start with the job growth. unemployment hit rock bottom near the beginning of the -- under the bush administration. this is changing the color here is when president obama took over in january of '09. who is responsible for this turn around? >> the president and it would be a better turn around if the
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republicans had allowed a bigger stimulus. we'd have many more jobs. >> you'd make the case we didn't spend enough on the economy? >> we wasted 40% of that on tax cuts for small business, which is inherently savings and not stimulus. it was a real policy mistake. is this historic? >> we're going in the right direction. we're not creating as many jobs as we need for the population growth, but it's astonishing we're recovering the way we are and if the republicans would stop creating the uncertainty, remember the uncertainty by not making a deal, we'd see the numbers improving very dramatically. let me ask in terms of the stability. these are numbers. does it look historic? it doesn't. but when we were down here, we were on the verge of tipping over. our whole economic situation,
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our financial situation, in that regard -- >> obama has managed a bad hand very, very well. he was dealt an incredibly bad hand and it's surprising it didn't get a lot worse than it did. >> this shows the unemployment rate under president obama's administration. which of the president's policies have helped the most in this? >>. well very crucial to this has been his decision to get congress to extend unemployment benefits surprisingly. because when people have the money are spending it back in the economy. every 50th person you meet statistically only has food stamps today as income. and that's the result of these years of the republicans policies. so having unemployment and extendsing benefits next year would be important to bring the number down and having businesses hire more people because they have customer with money. >> if congress failed to pass the recovery act, the center on
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budget and policy priorities says we have added almost 1 million more jobs because of the stimulus package. why are the republicans fighting stimulus spending now? why? is it they don't want to see president obama succeed or do they believe spending more money is not the right thing to do? >> i think both of those are true. they do not want him to succeed. there's no question about that. they are certain spending more money is wrong. we need to be fixing our infrastructure and creating jobs and making the economy run better, but they are trapped. they have sold the public on the same idea that we once had sold to us that the earth was the center of the universe. it's dogma. they can't abandon their dogma. >> john boehner says cutting taxes on small businesses will help create jobs. is he right? >> no. nobody creates a job to get a tax cut. you create jobs when you have more customers with more money
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to spend on product and services. it's getting money throwing through the bottom 90% of the economy. >> we're seeing record levels of long-term unemployment right now. this is the angst in the economy. even though it's dropped to 7.7%, millions of people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. long-term unemployment benefits expire on december 29th. this is part of the cliff. it's going to be a tough holiday for a lot of families across the country. last week, we got to point out that the congressional budget office was reported we could add 300,000 more jobs by extending benefits. it would cost $30 billion. now will republicans agree at least to extend the unemployment benefits or do they just not see any value in doing that. because they are just opposed to it. >> they only need about 25
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republicans to step over to agree to do this. and you're seeing grover norquist grip fall apart. this is a really important thing to do to improve the lives of young people. one thing to keep in mind, it is younger workers who are being hurt the most. the job games are heavily among 55 and over. we don't want to have a society where we get cynical young people that there's no woint in playing by the rules because you won't get a job any way. >> why not go over the cliff? if we go over the cliff, we're talking solving the financial problems. but we run the risk -- i think we might dip but it won't be anything like the first chart. what about that? >> i think that that may well be a good idea. it's risky, ed. there's some risk as to what will happen. but the fact is the government would then have all of this
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revenue. if it spends that revenue to create jobs and regardless of what the republicans say, government creates jobs all the time from school teachers like your money to people like my brother who was a ditch digger and could get to work because he was cleaning out after a storm. we need a whole lot of jobs created. if the government gets all the revenue and we push it out the door, that will help the economy grow. >> we had an excellent economy under president clinton at those rates. what are we afraid of? >> more jobs were created in the eight years of bill clinton than the 20 years of reagan and the two bushes. eight years. >> david cay johnston, thanks so much. there's a lot coming up in the next half hour. stay with us. >> are you proud? >> you bet i am. we're going to do more too. >> the koch brothers money is hard at work in michigan. where union-busting republicans are ramming right to work into law. we'll go to lansing, michigan, for the latest.
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brothers, michigan republicans rammed through right to work legislation. it problems prohibits paying union dues. the bill is expected to pass next week. this is a complete political attack by governor snider. he never campaigned on a right to work law and the bill passed with little or no debate. that's what's infearuating people. republicans used a dirty trick to involve a recall vote on the law. they included spending in the bill laws with spending can't be overturned by a citizen vote such as a referral. so this sneak attack on labor has people in michigan absolutely outraged. took a lot of calls on it on the radio show. protesters stormed the capital on thursday. police used pepper spray on protesters and eight arrested were made. governor snider claims his right to work law isn't bad for unions? >> i do not view this as something against the unions. i support the unions in many regards.
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i support their right to organize. i encourage them to present the best cases. >> the governor is dead wrong. when right to work laws pass, union membership goes down along with workers wages. this is part of the republican effort to dismantle the democratic base by union busting. let's bring in lansing mayor. you're steaming about this. you just heard what the governor said. he wants to encourage the unions and encourages people to join. >> it's the ultimate double speak. democracy is under attack. it's not hyperbolic to say democracy is under attack. to attack them, they are locking people out of the capital. they are using state police. those weren't my police that maced folks. they are using state police to block people from entering the
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capital. i don't blame the individual officers. their orders come from them. so it's an assault on democracy in so many ways. you talk about the fiscal cliff earlier in the show. many families facing the fiscal cliff. the biggest organization leading the fight to help working families has been the unions. that's been the equalizer. we know the top six states in unemployment are right to work states. what are we doing to promote? what is the governor doing to help grow the economy. it has nothing to do with raigh to work. it's very underhanded the way they are going about it with no debate. >> they are doing this in a lame duck session. >> you see the time. they are out shopping thinking about the holidays and trying to do this in a matter of days. they have suspended the rules and violated their own rules. not allowed any public debate.
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they are saying this has been debated for years. bull. there's been no debate. let's talk about right to work. let's talk about what it means. it's right to work for less. it's completely undemocratic when the majority of people vote, you know what it is. i'm not sure they know what right to work means. the fact is it's antidemocratic. when the majority of a company, the major tip of workers say we want a union, there ought to be a union and everybody should pay for it because they are going to benefit. what they are talking about with this choice, that's like me saying if i don't like the president, i shouldn't have to pay my taxes. it's a majority rule. >> the governor thinks right to work laws create jobs. here he is earlier today. >> this could be good for economic development. more jobs coming to michigan. we have watched what's going on in indiana. they have seen many more companies look at indiana, siting this as one of the
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factors that they did it in february. they could have thousands more jobs because they became a right to work state. >> your response to that? >> that's absolute crap. they have a governor who is working his butt off to bring jobs back to indiana. i have been around. i'm bringing jobs from italy and other places. and nobody asks about right to work. give me a break. the unions helped create the middle class. the fact is that right to work states have worse education. they have worse performance, higher unemployment. the facts just don't back the governor up. this is a governor that prides himself on having the facts. >> bob king blamed the koch brothers for helping ram through this legislation. what roeld role did they play in any of this? >> there's a lot of big money involved. i see this prosperity america. that's their outfit. i see equipment and so on. i don't know how much money is flowing around. i think they are all over.
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you have been on this before. we have to get the big corporate money out of politics. this is disgusting. i tell you democracy is under attack. we have to get the big corporate money out. it's disgusting to think the koch brothers money can make it happen. working people are under attack. i believe there will be repercussions. >> in what way? >> the governor is making a huge mistake. i know 14 is a ways off, but this governor, as you said, did not campaign on this. he said little about anything he would do. but he said this wasn't on his agenda. but now suddenly it is. i wonder why? i wonder what changed? so i think that there will be repercussi repercussions. i hope he won't be back. >> good to have you with us on the program tonight. tha thanks so much. a last hch ditch effort is underway to get republican
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support behind the violence against women act. will it work? that's next.
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we are back. we love hearing from our viewers on twitter and facebook. earlier we asked you to help write a caption just released today of president obama taking the concession call from mitt romney. on facebook, laura wrote, what? sorry, mitt, i couldn't hear you. i'm too busy being awesome. and craig suggested this caption, please proceed, governor. keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter. still to come, the supreme court will hear cases on california's prop 8 and the defensive marriage act. jonathan turley will weigh in on the civil rights battle. we're coming right back. at first, jake's family thought they saved ziggy,
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20 years the act has received broad bipartisan support. didn't want to stand in the way of provides resources for domestic violence. that's in the past. the law is up for reauthorization and republicans are fighting it. vice president joe biden and majority leader eric cantor are in talks trying to iron out differences to get legislation passed. biden is the law's original sponsor. domestic violence has dropped 58%. the senate has passed a bipartisan bill with additional protections for undocumented immigrants, members of the lgbt community and native americans. but republicans in the house want those protections removed. i think the talks are serious but the prospects dim. the leadership aid said house republic
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republicans don't seem to be learning the lessons of the campaign in election. sources tell "the huffington post" cantor is on board as one thing is stripped from the bill. a key protection for native american women. cantor is refusing to accept any added protections for native american women that would give expanded jurisdiction to tribes and is pressuring democrats to concede on that front. in the meantime, the crew over at fox news is giving advice on women can protect themselves against violence. get a gun. fox news contributors shrugged that suggestion off and instead placed blame on victims. >> it skirts the issue. women are victims of violence all the time. >> should have guns. >> or make better decisions. >> guns just solve everything. tonight in our survey, will republicans publish speaker boehner for trying to work with the president? 87% say yes. coming up, supreme court
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measure that made same-sex marriage illegal in the state of california. residents voted 52-48 to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. the 9th court of appeals struck down proposition 8 on the basis it stripped individuals of rights previously granted when same-sex marriages were permitted in the state. opponents of same-sex marriage appealed the ruling to the supreme court which will now review the decision. the court will also take up the defensive marriage act case which challenges a section of the law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of receiving federal benefits. this mean the highest court now has the opportunity to rule on whether gay americans have the same constitutional right to marry as hetero sexual americans. the court's decision to hear these cases comes as a series of election victories for same-sex marriage.
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last month washington, maine, maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage ballot measures. they joined new york, connecticut, iowa, massachusetts, new hampshire, vermont and the d.c. which already allows same-sex marri e marriages. they will expect to make a decision in june. i'm joined by jonathan turley. this of course, is the civil rights issue of our time. what are the justices dealing with? >> quite frankly, what they are dealing with is obviously an historic moment. but one that puts the legacy, not just of the court but the individual justices on the line. this is a court that has a rather checkered history with regard to the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. it was only in 2003 that the court ruled you couldn't
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criminalize homosexuality. that's how recent that was. and we have seen an evolution of the court that's been a bit slower than society as a whole. remember in the earlier decision that lawrence turned over, or overturned. justice powell told his clerk that he had never met a gay person in his life. that clerk was gay but he didn't know it. but it shows how far the court has come. but the question is has it gone far enough? it could come down, e again, to justice kennedy. >> what will each side -- what legal arguments will be made? what will really stand out here that will catch the attention of the american people? what legal arguments will each side make? >> ed, is often the case, the initial arguments are not going to be the ones that citizens expect. this is an incredibly important series of cases.
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there were a number to choose from. they selected two. those two cases do give them a very broad front on which to act. but they can avoid the critical question of the equal protection of gay and lesbian couples because both cases involve so-called standing questions. these are questions of whether these parties have a right to present this case. probably the most serious standing questions are on the doma case and windsor case. the cases being defended by a group of republican members and it is not clear that they have actual standing to bring the case. so if the court says you don't have standing, then the e lower court would prevail and windsor would prevail. >> how would the court's ruling affect marriage equality? >> it couldn't be more
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important. that case came for african-americans in 1954, i believe. this could be that moment. we're all hoping that it is. this country is an imperfect union by mere fact that we have not recognized the right of people in love to be married. there are 120,000 couples in this country that are directly -- have their interests directly at stake. but it's not just them. the question is will this country embrace this fundamental human right? and i don't believe kennedy wants to be on the wrong side of history on that. >> this is the latest challenge to the constitutionty. is doma doomed? >> i think it is. there are four district courts say i saying it violated the rights of gay and lesbian couples. there are two court of appeals. so there's